Friday, March 28, 2014

Pain, and Texas

Played soccer again yesterday, first practice we've been able to have because of all the rain and the swamplike conditions. Once again, I am in pain, though the good news is that the pain continues to be spread around to relatively new parts of my body.  In 3 times out, I've only been hurt in the same place twice!  Otherwise it's pretty equitably distributed around my lower body.

Yesterday there were a number of young ladies out there, and I had my first experience of playing against several really highly skilled and well-coached women.  There were three of them, all in there mid- to upper-twenties.  Graduate students, it would seem, who probably played at the college level.  And they were all playing up front, along with this kid who plays on my team who plays for a local high school now.  So these ladies weren't that fast, but they were composed, and they were picking us old dudes in the back apart pretty good.  Receiving, seeing the field, distributing, crossing.  One of them even deftly lifted the ball over my head.  It was pretty cool.  Several times I pretty much knew where one of them was gonna pass it, but couldn't get my foot there to block it.

And so, I am getting a new perspective on constraints on the soccer field.  I had already some years ago come to grips with the fact that I couldn't slide tackle, because people gotta get to work the next day.  Now, I am having to accept that maybe my reactions are a little slower.

I'm watching some of the other older dudes out there kicking the ball with their toe, which is technically a no-no but..... I'm wondering if they do it because it's less painful than swinging for the ball with a proper kick. Which is one of the places I'm having some pain. I may have to ask.

Tomorrow, however, we go to Texas.  Austin. BBQ.  Hill Country. Wild Flowers. The Museum of the War in the Pacific.  Alamo.  And, begrudgingly, because Natalie has surely read about it, the River Walk in San Antonio, which is really kind of a shit hole.

UPDATE:   After going on the River Walk on a beautiful spring day, I revise my earlier opinion.  It was really quite lovely, without the throngs and all the alcohol and the tepid water of summer.

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